NEW YORK (TheStreet) - There's historically always been volatility in the Middle East when it comes to oil, but now the region is having to deal with a new environment.

Times have changed, as U.S. companies have ramped up domestic oil production, said Amos Hochstein, U.S. Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs, speaking at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference in Houston. It's not just one leader or president in control, either. There's hundreds, if not thousands of CEOs pulling the strings on oil production in the U.S. 

The country has become influential in curtailments or increases in production, Hochstein explained. 

That means that the Middle East countries and other OPEC nations will have to adapt this new environment. 


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In making his point, Hochstein reasoned that geopolitical events in the Middle East used to have a more significant impact on oil prices. Disruptions in oil production or shipments sent the price of crude dramatically higher until the issues were resolved. 

That was a just a few short years ago. Now, crisis after crisis pops up in the Middle East and the price of crude barely budges, he said. 

Even with terror groups, like ISIS, continuing to spread throughout the Middle East, oil production has remained relatively steady, particularly in Iraq. 

In fact, in Southern Iraq, oil production recently reached a new high and exports to the North through Turkey are underway, he pointed out.

It's important for the U.S. to maintain and deepen its relationships with the countries in the Middle East, while at the same time, focus on our own oil production, Hochstein explained. 

There's no reason those two ideas should have to contradict one another. It shouldn't be looked at like one group is becoming more or less powerful, he said.

It's best for the parties involved to maintain relationships and partnerships and that's exactly what the U.S. is aiming to do, he said. 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.